Several posts ago, I mentioned that I was going to be on the lookout for ways you can help victims of human trafficking in and around the Jackson, MS area. Well, God lined up a perfect little domino effect of meetings, and I came in contact with a big-hearted, Mississippi-based woman named Kelly Williams. Kelly has a very moving story, which you can watch here, that led her into a beautiful ministry that she runs today. What led her to where she is today is not pretty. It’ll make you cry. But the verse “blessed are the brokenhearted, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4) seems to be the overarching theme for her story.
She was so sweet to do a little Q&A with me so I can better share with you how she got into one ministry that led into another ministry, and HOW YOU CAN HELP!!
Laurel: I watched the video of your personal story and it was SO moving! I would recommend that all of my readers watch it! But for those who can’t watch it right now, can you give your story in a synopsis?
Kelly: Wow, thanks! It is a redemption story. Realizing GOD has always been there even when I didn’t think HE was. In a nutshell, I was sexually abused at the age of nine by someone my family loved and trusted. In the same week I found out my mother had been diagnosed with chronic progressive Multiple Sclerosis. I chose not to tell anyone about the abuse. I didn’t want to put any more stress on my family. At age fifteen I was involved in a serious car accident and I broke my pelvis. I was given prescription pain medicine for a year while I recovered. When the prescription drugs were no longer available I began to search for other things to numb my emotional pain. I indulged in alcohol, drugs and promiscuity ultimately leading to an unplanned pregnancy at the age of eighteen. I chose to abort the baby leading to so much more pain, shame and guilt. I spiraled for a number of years and eventually hit rock bottom. The bottom was actually what brought full surrender to Christ and His plans for my life. The years post surrender have had their share of trials but each situation has equipped me and brought me closer to the LORD. These years have included infertility, in vitro-fertilization, multiple miscarriages, and finally adoption. We now have four beautiful children. With each adoption the LORD brought healing in supernatural ways. If you would like to know more you can read A Broken Mirror Written by Sara W Berry, a novel based on my life story.
Laurel: What led you to start Kelly Williams Ministries and how long has it been around?
Kelly: KWM started in 2015 simply as a way to manage PR and speaking engagements. In 2016 I was asked to share my story in a county jail. I reluctantly went, but when I got there my life was changed forever. The women I met faced many of the same challenges I had. They made many of the same choices, but had not been as fortunate as I had been in finding a way out. In 2018 we became an 501c3 and officially changed our name to Stone Stories Ministries.
Laurel: That leads into my next question, which is to tell us more about Stone Stories!
Kelly: Stone Stories started after my initial trip to the jail. I realized everyone has a story. The name came from Joshua 4:21-24 which says, …“In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean? tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.” When we tell our stories of overcoming it helps us remember how the LORD “brought us through on dry ground”. It is easy to forget the previous provision when we are in a season of drought. The stories are our “stones.” Our reminders.
Laurel: What services does Stone Stories offer, and to whom?
Kelly: The population we serve are women touched my incarceration, addiction, and human trafficking. We publish a devotional magazine three times a year, donating copies to women’s prisons in MS and TX and rehabs and transitional homes across the south. We feature transformative stories in each issue, devotions with application questions, and inspiring quotes and passages from everyday people in all different walks of life. We have a video ministry which highlights transformation stories. We also serve as a liaison between our women and community resources filling in the gaps as needed. We do not consider ourselves a “program” or the women we serve as a “charity project”. They are our sisters in Christ and we are here as long as they want us around. We have made life long friendships and once the ladies we serve are able to get on their feet, they serve right alongside us. We meet women in jails and prisons, transitional living facilities, and on the streets. Depending on their circumstances and needs, we help them find safe housing, we advocate for them in court, we help with job skills, job training, and creative second chance job solutions. We help take care of medical and dental needs. We help them with life skills and critical thinking skills. We offer Bible studies and free counseling, art therapy, and equine therapy.
Laurel: Let’s talk specifically about women who have come from a sex trafficking background. How do you help those girls/women?
Kelly: Again, each woman we serve is different and their needs vary depending on their particular circumstances. Some examples of things we have done are; taking total financial, emotional, and physical responsibility for a woman who escaped from a familial trafficking situation. In her case we provided safe housing, therapy, medical and dental care. We have also recently begun working with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. Often women in trafficking situations do not trust law enforcement so we stand in the gap. We work together with the MBI offering women they believe to be in potential trafficking situations options such as transport to long term programs specifically for victims of sex trafficking. If the women are not ready to take that big step, we start where they are. Sometimes it is a meal and a cup of coffee. We are a first touch ministry. We offer unconditional love and a relationship with no strings attached. When they are ready to take the next step we are waiting in the wings to provide what they need to start the healing process. We have participated in coordinated training efforts for agents in the human trafficking division of the MBI and other out of state agents to recognize specific signs of victims through first hand knowledge from a victim in our care. We will do whatever it takes to get women the help they need.
Laurel: How can my readers get involved in Stone Stories? How can we help?
Kelly: We need monthly and one time donors. You can go to stonestories.net to set up an auto draft and receive a tax deduction letter. (Click on the “How Can I Help” menu item.) We need your prayers. Host a dinner and let us come share and educate your friends. Be trained and join our transport team to get women to safe housing and long term care facilities. Contribute your stories or devotionals to Stone Stories Magazine. Host an event and allow our ladies who have come through some of these trials share how GOD worked in their lives, and/or support the businesses that have allowed our women internships, job skills training and jobs. (Check out ReDesigns and Rachel Brooks Designs, both on Instagram and Etsy)
Laurel: What else would you like to share?!
Kelly: We can make a difference if we all work together! Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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I cannot thank Kelly enough. Her ministry is so impactful!! If you have been touched by her story and how she’s using it to help others, please consider helping her ministry by donating, purchasing from one of the accounts linked above, by hosting an event if you are comfortable, by volunteering, or by PRAYING!
Thank you again, Kelly. You are a gem and I am so glad to know more about Stone Stories. Huge shout out to my friend Guy who connected me to Kelly!
I hope you have a great day 🙂 Thanks for reading!
( the image at the top of this post was sourced here! )